Despite the widely advertised success in the struggle with terrorism, many countries are still apprehensive that even greater acts of terrorism may occur. As soon as the hysteria with white powder in envelopes ended, one more threat, more awesome than anthrax, appeared.
The other day, Britain’s Ministry of Defense admitted that an A-bomb guide was available in Great Britain. A spokesman for the ministry said that a detailed description of how to build an atomic bomb, to be more precise, Britain’s first atomic bomb code-named Blue Danube with the power of 15 kiloton, was declassified seven years ago and is now being stored in the public archives. The bomb was added to the military arsenal in 1953.
No surprise that the opposition conservative party jumped at the news at once, as the party considered it to be “a monstrous free gift to terrorists.” The party declares that now the government will have to explain the reason for declassifying of such dangerous documents. At that, the Tory did not mention the fact that the declassifying of the A-bomb guide took place at the time when conservative John Major was Britain’s prime minister (Anthony Blair was elected to the post in 1997 for the first time).
It is interesting that Great Britain (following the USA) likes to tell terrifying stories about Russians, who hardly manage to control their nuclear reserves, and that terrorists may easily obtain these weapons of mass destruction. The security of Britain’s control over its nuclear reserves was undoubtedly considered strong. Is it in fact faulty?
On the other hand, the fear of nuclear weapons being used has lessened in the world. The USA and Britain announced several times already that they are ready to use small nuclear weapons in local conflicts. In fact, nuclear weapons today prevail more than they did ten years ago. Many countries, such as India and Pakistan, have already declared they possess nuclear weapons. It is quite logical to suppose that Israel and Iran also have nuclear weapons in their arsenals.
The removal of the fear of weapons of mass destruction entail unpredictable consequences. Certainly, the production of an A-bomb is a technologically complex process. However, how can we be sure that, in the nearest future, terrorists will not find some detailed descriptions on the Internet and invent something awful to kill tens of thousands of people?
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/04/16/39803.html